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June 26, 2009 (10:00 a.m. EDT)
No. 179

Minister Day Promotes Canadian Trade in France

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today concluded a two-day visit to France where, during important multilateral meetings, he strongly reiterated Canada’s calls to keep markets open and resist the temptation of protectionism.

Minister Day and Ted Menzies, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, met with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and World Trade Organization (WTO) partners to address the current state of the world economy and the need for continued trade and investment liberalization.

“In order for us to succeed in restoring prosperity to the global economy, we need to work with OECD and WTO members to fight the impulse to hide behind trade barriers. Canada is leading by example by pursuing free trade agreements with markets all over the globe,” said Minister Day. “We are strongly opposed to protectionism and will continue to defend free and open trade on the world stage.

“The Doha Round of WTO negotiations offers the best way forward to ensure fair, rules-based international trade. We need to aggressively pursue these talks to ensure our Canadian companies gain access to as many markets as possible, especially during this difficult economic period.”

Following the OECD meetings and informal meetings of WTO ministers, Minister Day delivered a speech to senior business officials from the Canada-France Chamber of Commerce where he highlighted Canada’s aggressive free trade agenda, positioned Canada as the best place in the world to do business and called for the need to resist protectionism.

Minister Day also had a very productive meeting with his French counterpart, Anne-Marie Idrac, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, where he reinforced the need for stronger commercial relations with France and emphasized the importance of concluding negotiations on a comprehensive economic and trade agreement with the European Union as soon as possible.

“An agreement with the European Union, now more than ever, will help provide Canadian companies with enhanced access to the world’s largest market,” said Minister Day. “We will continue to work with our European partners, such as France, to ensure this becomes a reality.”

France is Canada’s eighth-largest merchandise trading partner worldwide and its third-largest in Europe, after the United Kingdom and Germany.

For the complete text of the OECD meeting’s ministerial conclusions | PDF * (106 KB).

More details about Minister Day’s visit can be found at: Minister Day participates in OECD and WTO meetings.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

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